Why I’ve Uninstalled Facebook From My Life
Facebook is guilty. Period.
What they're guilty of? Every single person who read the above can fill in a blank. Every American citizen has a grievance against the social media giant. But we still use it every, single, day. In fact, this article will be posted, shared, and viewed through the Facebook platform. Promise.
But whether your issue sits with Facebook's massive invasion of your privacy (technically you told them they could have your microphone, camera, GPS, keystrokes, passwords, access to other apps, mother's maiden name, and anything else they wanted when you signed their terms of service) or their sponsorships and donations off the platform itself, you have an issue with Facebook. Maybe your issues will fall closer to my recent breaking point, which has to do with their desire to cultivate the content posted to their site.
Now stop, that last sentence, that will be our biggest issue moving forward..."their site". It's still a private company, and they do own the platform. So all of this writing, and the other yelling voices online, are just people screaming into the void.
Anyway... back to my issues.
For a long time, I've often seen people post about their "Facebook jail" or "Facebook timeouts" where the "moderators" decide someones posted content breaks their "Community Standards", and so they're banned for a number of hours, days, or weeks. I often thought it would have been based on something egregious that was posted. Maybe a pornographic post, something deeply racist, or an online threat of violence gone too far. But then I caught my own case of "Facebook jail", and I was perplexed.
My time in the Facebook clink came after a simple argument, my crime? Apparently the word "jerk". It was a massive eye-opener. I had to have been wrong about everyone else right? Well, I got curious.
So over the last few months, when I have seen random articles, pictures, posts, or comments that I thought were a larger violation of the "Community Standards", I went ahead and filed a "report" through Facebook. If you look around Facebook, you can quickly find credible threats of violence, hate speech, bullying, stolen content, and violations of every other "Community Standard". So I randomly reported 50-100 for a couple of months, and I started to get angry.
Facebook will reply to your report with a verdict. They will tell you whether or not the content you're flagged for violated the "Community Standards" or not. Over the first 100 or so randomized reports I filed, there wasn't A SINGLE VIOLATION FOUND.
These weren't just "oh I don't like you" type comments, I was reporting images of people being lynched, people threatening to come to other people's homes and shoot them, racial slurs...I was truly only reporting the worst of the worst. But Facebook didn't care. So I ramped it up.
Over the last few weeks, with WAY more content that violates their stated "Community Standards" flying around, I expanded the experiment. Reporting hundreds in just a week. Not shockingly, Facebook didn't see a single one as a violation. I'm not alone either, just search online for some of the hilarious stuff that people have found to be cool with Facebook.
But that actually wasn't the moment I uninstalled the app from my life. I was still thinking of ways to learn more about that system.
Recently, Facebook has also decided to restrict protest information too. For weeks, Facebook was banning Groups, Events, and other activities centered around protests. The platform was crushing anyone involved in planning any rallies using their platform. This even angered the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to the point of the ACLU issuing a statement.
Oh, but it wasn't our modern protests. The one's for racial justice and police reform (which are totally legit and I'm happy that they're taking place, this isn't about them, it's about Facebook), this was happening weeks ago. Facebook was crushing all traces of protest against Government lock-downs.
But fast-forward to our modern protests and rallies. (Again, ones that should be happening. I have no issues with rallies for racial justices or Black Lives Matter. I will say it right here, right now, "All Lives" don't matter until Black Lives Matter.) Facebook is not restricting protest organizations on their platform in the same way they did in April. Just a few short weeks and Facebook changed their policy on "protest organization" on their site? Or is it another example of the company picking and choosing their alignment.
Then I woke up this morning to another notification that I violated their standards.
What was the violation? A link shared from a respected national media outlet.
That's right, a news article from CNBC, on a story that's existed since February, caught me another violation. Not only that, but Facebook is sending out their own Schutzstaffel to hide this content behind "fake news" walls. Something that should be exclusively reserved for extremist, unfounded articles that lack citation is now being applied to major news outlets on well-cited reports. Like a report that literally features a video of the subject saying what's contained in the report. THAT content is now being hidden, labeled as fake, and going against "Community Standards".
None of this is happening because it's actually fake, but because the people running Facebook just "don't like it".
Going back to the idea we highlighted before; this is a private company. That means they can block this content if they'd like, they can label it fake if they'd like, they can do all of this. But it doesn't mean I have to take it. I don't have to take part in this fairness charade they're trying to push out. They will cultivate the content they want.
So things we know the ghouls who run Facebook want:
Your Geographical Location At All Times
Your Dating History
No News If It's Not Their Viewpoint
Your Personal Information
Pictures & Videos Of People Being Brutally Beaten
Protests Only If They Agree
We know that Mark Zuckerberg is a monster. In 2010 a film called "The Social Network" clued us in on what kind of humanoid monster Zucks was. The people around him have tried to warn us for over a decade now. But we haven't listened. Now he's viewed as one of the most dangerous men in the world because of his unchecked power.
Up until recent weeks, I have resisted calls for Government oversight on Facebook. That just sounds crazy to say out loud. But the time may have actually come for it. But honestly, I'm not looking for a mass government takeover of the internet, because that's the WRONG thing to do here. Twitter and Google, while nearly as big as Facebook (or bigger in Google's case) have actually been pretty solid corporate citizens. Sure, each have had their moments of outlandish issues, but NOTHING like Facebook.
Twitter has to be pushed pretty far before they respond to content, they're a strong First Amendment arena. Google is pretty much still the internet wild west, with a few rails put in place...which is for the best.
But Facebook has gone beyond violating our trust. Instead of just observing, and trimming the rot from the tree, instead they've decided to inject themselves, and their personal politics into the tree. No longer is this a natural, organic growth with some nurturing assistance, Zucks has taken over the tree. Started sawing off branches and bolting on his own limbs. He doesn't care about anyone else but him, and he clearly doesn't care if the falling branches hurt anyone when they fall to the ground below.